By People Staff
Updated March 24, 2010 12:00 AM
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Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Let’s tackle more of your questions.

Patsy asked about Bob and Jillian taking the contestants off campus on occasion. When the groups are smaller, yes, the contestants can sometimes be taken off campus when there is downtime from shooting. Bob and Jillian would then be able to meet the contestants. But these excursions would only happen when you are down to the final six or seven contestants and there is enough staff available.

Katie wanted to know a great exercise for both arms and abs. Planks — any type of plank will help your arms and kill your abs! I love them and hate them all at the same time.

I also wanted to offer my congratulations to Jake and his wife on the major transformation they have made! Jake, you are correct: The best advice is to eat less and exercise!

Now, on to this week’s episode: All contestants went home to visit with family and friends. I remember this so vividly. The casting team took us to buy new outfits, and it was the first time I had the chance to buy new jeans. I walked out of the store with four new pairs even though I was warned that it wasn’t worth it because I wouldn’t be able to fit in them in two weeks. Sure enough, two weeks later I no longer could wear the jeans without them falling off!

Plus, what you don’t know from last night’s episode was that it was most likely the holidays. Production is behind a few months, and it is difficult to fit into the story line that contestants are going home to spend the holidays with their families. That’s why we were hearing a lot of talk about shoveling snow. In addition to being at home with temptations all around you, add in all the holiday parties, baked goods, home cooking and drinking that comes with the season.

Then, you get a huge Biggest Loser delivery–the dreaded spin bike and scrumptious looking cupcakes! I loved this new and improved challenge from season 7. For me, it was interesting to see who really is playing the game. Families and friends of the contestants really have a large influence on the decisions they make, and everyone wants to tell you what to do. The only ones who ate cupcakes were Lance (definitely influenced by his wife), Michael and Drea. We already know Lance is gone, so let’s keep an eye out and see what happens with Michael and Drea. I also thought it was awesome that everyone totally underestimated Koli — and he came out and killed it.

The other aspect I loved about this challenge was how the families were able to interact with the contestants and give them updates on where they stood relative to everyone else in the game. As a contestant, you really want to show your friends and family how hard you can push so they will be proud of you.

There are a few other things that really stuck out for me during this episode:

Michael‘s grandma is still in the hospital with issues stemming from being overweight. He now realizes if he continued down the path he was on pre-BL he would be in same position. I love and hate that this came to fruition on the show. I hate it because I feel horrible for Michael, but I love it because he is now able to set an example for all of us.

Daris also seemed to have had a great time at home and is really taking positive strides in his life. He went out on a date, sang karaoke and went to the gym with confidence. Those are things that most who are heavy won’t do because a lack of confidence.

•There are only two contestants left who have a wife and kids at home. I especially felt for Lance because he has young children and his wife. Melissa, his wife, understands what he is going through, but it is difficult to leave once you are home. My biggest advice is to stay prepared. –Tara Costa

Tell us: Do you think something might happen between Daris and the girl he took out on a date? Do you think O’Neal might take it too far one of these days? What did you think of this episode?Trae Patton/NBC